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Revista Romana de Geografie Politica (2017)
  • Istvan Egresi, Fatih University
Islamic banks have, over the last few decades, become very popular in the Gulf countries and in some countries in Southeast Asia with a majority Muslim population. They are on the rise even in some western cities such as London or New York which have witnessed a significant increase in their Muslim population. In this context, it is then surprising to see that in Turkey, a country in which almost 100% of the population is Muslim, the Islamic banking system is still in its incipient stage. This study has investigated the reasons for the underdevelopment of the Islamic banking system in Turkey. We found that, due to the long period of secularism, most Turks separate religion from business and select their bank based on financial advantages, diversity of financial products and quality of service rather than based on the need to adhere to Shari’a principles. Many people also do not trust that these institutions are really Shari’a-compliant and safe. This is partly due to the customers’ lack of understanding of how these banks operate and partly due to the numerous cases of bad practices reported by the media and the academic literature. We conclude that, while their assets and share will most probably increase over the next 10 years it seems very unlikely that Islamic banks will really become a sustainable alternative banking system in Turkey. The Islamic banking system will rather remain an additional or complementary banking system. 
  • Islamic banking,
  • participation banks,
  • Turkey,
  • bank selection criteria,
  • attitudes towards Islamic banks,
  • prospects for development.
Publication Date
May 31, 2017
Citation Information
Istvan Egresi. "ISLAMIC BANKING IN TURKEY: POPULATION PERCEPTION AND DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES" Revista Romana de Geografie Politica Vol. 19 Iss. 1 (2017)
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